Extreme Makeover -- Carling Cup

Discussion in 'Prem talk, Those Other Leagues, and International' started by timmyg, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    With the competition resuming today it brought something to mind that I've been thinking about a bit.

    This competition gets a lot of flack. Many would like to see it done away with. Personally, I think it should stay. But things need to change to make it interesting, or even worthwhile.

    Much like with the FA Cup in recent times, only The Big Four have won this competition. Oh, Tottenham too but I guess they have to win something every now and then, no?

    However unlike in the FA Cup, The Big Four and now even others are fielding their reserves and star academy players in more than the opening round. And are then making it to the semifinals if not the finals with the same JV roster.

    Am I crazy, or this is not a good thing?

    I've begun to think that if you qualified for the Champions League, you shouldn't be allowed to play in the Carling Cup. "Well that'll kill the competition" you say? Oh, I was unaware that seeing Gary Neville's corpse sent off today despite already being up 2-0 or tomorrow seeing Danny Sturridge score a brace make for compelling television.

    When big clubs defeat smaller ones in cup competitions, I don't mind. But when different players from those same big clubs who normally don't even get to travel with the first team are running rings around their opposition in a "second rate" tournament... well whats the point really?

    But maybe I'm a just some American purist who wants just one tiny aspect of their sports to have some small modicum of equality.

    In which case, when the hell are West Ham and Millwall going to get punished?!?
  2. Jensers

    Jensers New Member

    Apr 18, 2007
    Royal City, Wa
    Hmm.. Interesting points.

    A competition for those not in the champions league, but then are the Europa teams out too?

    I dont know that anyone would watch it at that point...

    Maybe something that requires that a roster is set at the beginning of the competition and that is who the team has to stick with all the way to the finals. What about that?
  3. andypalmer

    andypalmer Active Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    Never happen.

    Without the big clubs, the TV revenue would be a small fraction of what it is now.

    Without the big clubs in the Cup, you remove the chance for clubs to go after the much vaunted Quadruple, which is also good for TV revenue.

    Early rounds of both the FA and Carling Cup are good places to test your 2nd team players on a "big stage" - overall league quality would be impacted without that opportunity.

    Without the big clubs, the Carling Cup would matter even less than it does now (think US Open Cup and MLS teams...)
  4. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

    Mar 18, 2006
    Peoples Republic of South Texas
    The value of the League Cup is

    a. silverware
    b. a ticket to The Europa Cup

    For that reason alone, it has value. Some clubs look at the competition as

    a. unnecessarily taxing their squads
    b. a distraction from league success/survival

    and turn out less that "top class" sides. It used to be Arsenal was the only club to field an identifiably youth-based side. Wenger was hammered for this, and it was cited [along with the international makeup of his players] as proof that he didn't care about English traditions. Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, and whoever 'arry was managing, decided to run out their kids until the competition got interesting, and then bring out the big guns.

    And that's the way it's been, until recently. Have a look at Reading's CC teamsheets the last season they were in the Prem. Hell, look at Stoke City's yesterday!

    The CC will remain a lesser priority in its first few rounds for all Europe-qualified clubs [see our squad against City, for example]. There's too much jockying for league position and group stages to take priority -- especially when most managers are still trying to bed-in their August acquisitions.

    The solution: leave it as it is. Everything has flaws, but I guarantee you that any 3rd or 4th tier player will always remember playing at Old Traffotd or Anfield or The Emirates, regardless of the average age of his opponents.

    Good, thoughtful post, timmyg.

    Oh, and West Ham will be punished as soon as Sir Trevor Brooking retires from the FA.
  5. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Good points Andy and Don.

    But I think what is adding to teams outside the Top 4 not taking it seriously is because the success of the Big Four's reserves.

    Continuing to allow the Big Four to trot out their JV squads and win the competition will eventually kill the competition.

    The other 68 clubs are evidently seeing NO point in even bothering with it for that reason -- and lack of prize money -- and I think the fans, with rising ticket prices and other expenses, will eventually come around to it as well.

    And as an addendum, I really fear the FA Cup will go down this route in a few years.
  6. andypalmer

    andypalmer Active Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    I think the breakup of the Big Four will strengthen the Cups. Look at the teams now vying for European football (every year):

    Man City
    Aston Villa

    That's 8 teams fighting for 7 European places, 2 of which go to the Cup winners. With competition for the top four getting tighter, the top teams won't be able to afford to NOT compete for the cups seriously. The last thing any of those teams wants is to finish 6th in the league and NOT get European football.

    It won't happen this year, because the Big Four hasn't been broken yet, but next year, after they've seen the results, the top teams will have to approach the Cups differently. Gone are the days of "It's ok if I focus on the league and forget the cups as I'll be in the top four anyway." They just haven't realized it yet.
  7. FFC24

    FFC24 New Member

    Jan 6, 2005
    Is there really a problem with just scrapping this tournament? The only reason to have this tournament is so that the reserves can get some 1st team time(As Andy pointed out), but really it serves no other purpose. I quite like it how other leagues only have one cup competition. Then you can focus on the league and Europe and we wouldn't have to worry about the FA cup til January. Sounds good to me.
  8. FulhamAg

    FulhamAg New Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    Very good point, Andy. Liverpool will probably be the first to recognise this as they look like the team most likely to fall out of the top 4 this year. If it's looking like a non-big 4 side will win the Carling, you may see Liverpool take the FA very seriously.

    Trotting out the youngsters does have its setbacks. Just look at the embarassment Real just suffered.

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